August and September have been two very busy months! None the less I have been thinking about Zachary a lot. I am a 4th grade teacher and it hit me hard this summer that this year my little man would have been entering 4th grade. I have been lucky to have my children come to the same school I teach in. It’s nice to be connected with my kid’s teachers, see them in the halls to steal random hugs, and have them with me at the end of the day. As time passes, these are the things I continue to realize I miss out on. It is the everyday ordinary things I wish I could have back.
What’s really special is that Zachary clearly is on the minds of others too.
Kelly’s Remembering Zachary Project- Kelly kicked off the month of August strong! She emailed her family to let them know she will be collecting games to donate to a local domestic abuse and teen shelter. She opened up her idea to everyone in her family so they can participate too. Over the next few months many of her family members will be collecting games and puzzles. Once they are all purchased, Kelly will deliver them! She will sticker them all “Remembering Zachary.” I am looking forward to seeing how this develops and how we can also help!
Marley’s Mission- Since visiting the Mission in July, they have worked on making Zachary’s Way beautiful. So far some split rail fence has been installed and they plan to lay pavers and get some landscaping done. My father is also working on hand carving a street sign that will be hung to mark Zachary’s special place at the Mission. Instead of buying a sign, it means so much to me that my father is personally making one. He is so talented, and he is such a perfectionist. I know that the final product will be amazing and special. I cannot wait to see it mounted on its pole, displayed for all to see.
Just a few weeks ago, Kelly was at Marley’s Mission and she snapped a picture to post on Facebook. She was sitting on Zachary’s Benches while her daughter was in session. She said it was peaceful to have some time to sit on the side of the barn and look at the serene mountains and remember Zachary. Her post was proof to me about just how far we have come. His name is being spoken by so many people and his sweet little face is being remembered more often than I even realize. In the process awareness is being raised and his memory lives on with us.
Benefit Concert- Cathy has been working hard and planning the benefit concert that is approaching in just two short weeks. I have been so excited to hear every little detail. Pins and stickers have been ordered, practices have been held, emails and ideas exchanged, and invitations sent. We were even lucky to get our new music teacher at school, Ashly, to volunteer to sing at the concert as a guest soloist! She is so talented and I know my children and I are really thrilled to know that she will be there to celebrate with us. What an honor to have a special event held in memory of your child.Every day I want to say his name out loud so people know him. I guess it is my way of holding onto him. At the benefit concert his presence will be loud. His picture will be hung, his name will be spoken and his spirit will be there. It will be a day filled with joy. I am really looking forward to it! What’s even better is at this event we will spread awareness and help Marley’s Mission. All proceeds raised through this concert will be donated to them!
Here’s the link! https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/148994251975448/ If you’re in the area, please consider attending and helping to spread the word.
My dear friend Colleen has started a blog to talk about her super exciting project! She is running 10 races by Zach’s 10th birthday month! Can you believe it? 5 5k’s and 5 MARATHON’S!! That deserves two exclamation marks. She’s already run 2 marathons. Her most recent marathon was special because it was a personal record for her and her time was 3:33.34. I thought it was pretty neat because Zachary’s birthday is 3/4. Funny how little things pop up here and there to show how he’s with us. I am just so lucky to have great friends! Kenzy and I have decided to run 2 of her 5k’s with her. Kenzy is beyond excited to do this with Colleen. It has given Kenzy and me some special time together because we have been running together, trying to get ready for the races. Colleen has also tied her project to fundraising. She wants to encourage others to get out and run together with their families and raise awareness for child abuse by donating to Marley’s Mission.
Aunt Rita’s Project- Just last week I got notice of the newest Remembering Zachary Project! Aunt Rita sent me an email with pictures and told me all about what she did. A while back she noticed an article in the paper and clipped it. It was about a woman in her area that collects supplies for children and packs the supplies up in a shoe box to ship off to children in need. The boxes are filled with some necessities and with other warm fuzzies for children. The article said that these boxes may be the first gifts that some of these children would receive. Aunt Rita was moved by the article and knew she wanted to see how she could help. She thought up the great idea of making 200 book marks. They were perfect, the color blue and the bottom of the bookmarks said “Remembering Zachary.” Aunt Rita got in touch with the woman and then met up with her at a fair. She was there while people stopped at the booth to pack boxes! Aunt Rita said she was moved when people choose the bookmarks that would be packed in the shoe boxes. The idea that several children around the world will open up these boxes and see and maybe even speak Zachary’s name, is amazing.
I have some other very special news to share but I’m not allowed to! I got a phone call from a great friend and he shared with me the most touching thing. I am really looking forward to being able to share it with you soon.
My friend David and I were talking the other night. He told me how he has Zachary’s picture framed in his office at Harrisburg. David is the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. I was fortunate to meet him through our journey with Zachary’s Law. He is a great person and it has been special for me to see how he began to form a relationship with Zachary. I know that sounds odd, but it’s clear that he cared about making a difference in his honor. Back in March when he attended the Gala and received the Remembering Zachary Award, I gave him a framed picture of Zachary as a gift. He said that when people come in his office and see the picture, they ask him who he is because they know he doesn’t have kids. His words to me were that it was pretty cool. I just love that Zachary has managed to make some new and very special friends!
I keep saying how amazed I am about how this project has turned out! I would have never thought of any of these special projects on my own. I love my family and friends. Thank you all for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for letting me share Zachary with you!
<3 Zachary's Mom